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Acor’s AFK2606 is a pleasingly competent budget fork well suited to heavier riders and those seeking to improve handling and save weight on older machines. The alloy steerer might not set anyone’s Lycra ablaze but they’re more durable than carbon and lighter than Cro-moly. They also improve rigidity on larger framesets or those employing big spacer stacks.
Given the asking price the build quality is pretty good. Some chipping was evident around the crown but hasn’t worsened through testing. Raked blades transform the handling of older bikes originally supplied with the power or banana types and lateral stiffness is a big improvement over entry level carbon models from a few years back.
They’ve provided a lighter and more compliant front end without destroying the character of my beloved Road Path mount: great on the climbs yet reassuringly secure on fast descents or when carving into corners. Even placing my full weight atop the bars I couldn’t cajole a shimmy from them. There’s even a “touring” variant characterised by more relaxed geometry, mudguard provision and drilling for 57mm brake stirrups.
That said, the model as reviewed readily accepts narrow salmon or race blade type guards so long as you’re tolerant of P-clips and you're running tyres no wider than 25mm. The colour coordinated ends feature the ubiquitous lawyers lips but don’t much impair wheel removal, meaning they’re a viable option for racing.
Fork upgrade that, when fitted with a decent headset, will give older bikes a new lease of life
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Make and model: Acor AFK-2606 Carbon road fork
Size tested: 700c
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at riders of older mid-high end bikes looking to take advantage of a carbon fork upgrade.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Alloy steerer, raked carbon blades, drilled for 49mm brake callipers.
Generally good, although our test sample arrived with chipping around the crown but this hasn't worsened with testing.
Enhances the feel of older steel framesets and gives a more compliant ride without feeling whippy and shaves a few grams into the bargain.
Bonding and metal steerer shouldn't give trouble-even for heavy riders.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed faultlessly in all conditions with surprising rigidity compared with big name budget offerings I've used in the past.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Low weight, simple detailing
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Stickers look low rent but that's easily addressed.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Age: 35 Height: 1m 81 Weight: 70 kilos
I usually ride: Rough Stuff Tourer Based around 4130 Univega mtb Frameset My best bike is: 1955 Holdsworth Road Path and several others including cross & traditional road
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
Shaun Audane is a freelance writer/product tester with over twenty-eight years riding experience, the last twelve (120,000 miles) spent putting bikes and kit through their paces for a variety of publications. Previous generations of his family worked at manufacturing's sharp end, thus Shaun can weld, has a sound understanding of frame building practice and a preference for steel or titanium framesets.
Citing Richard Ballantine and an Au pair as his earliest cycling influences, he is presently writing a cycling book with particular focus upon women, families and disabled audiences (Having been a registered care manager and coached children at Herne Hill Velodrome in earlier careers)